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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Effort to curb Cuba flights fails



A Republican effort to limit the Obama administration's more open policy toward flights to Cuba has failed, a defeat for South Florida Republicans.

The Associated Press just reported: A deal on a $1 trillion spending bill was reached after Republicans agreed to drop language that would have blocked President Barack Obama's liberalized rules on people who visit and send money to relatives in Cuba. But a GOP provision will stay in the bill thwarting an Obama administration rule on energy efficiency standards that critics argued would make it hard for people to purchase inexpensive incandescent light bulbs.

Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat who advocated for new flights from Tampa, said: “The removal of this measure means that Cuban-American families can rest assured they can visit their loved ones as frequently as they want to, a freedom they have embraced and deserve. I am proud to work with the Tampa Bay community, including churches, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Tampa International Airport, neighborhood leaders and others to make clear the importance of these flights and policies that allow travel to Cuba. The human and economic benefits are enormous, bringing families together and bolstering small businesses and jobs in our region.”

[Last modified: Friday, December 16, 2011 1:43pm]


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